Hi there and welcome back to my blog. How are you? I hope that you are well. Today I’m going to talk about how I built my confidence. Even before my diagnosis, I was a shy lad. But somehow, through my diagnosis, I’ve met more people, spoke to a lot more people and I’m a lot more confident.
Before my diagnosis, when I used to work in Birmingham, myself and my work colleagues used to go out every Friday night and drink. They would call me “Party Arvin” or “Parvin” for short. That’s because, when I drank, I was a lot more confident.
Now, I don’t drink at all and yet I’m confident enough to be playing the ukulele in front of the Brain Tumour Support Coventry group. And I was able to to this.
Recently, I’ve joined a ukulele group called “The Earls of Uke”. A Coventry based ukulele group who meet up once every two weeks. This was their first public performance and it was only my fourth time that I’ve been to a group meeting.
So how did I do it?
- Slowly building myself up
- Wear hats and change toothpaste
- Being with people in the same boat
Back in August 2017, I started to volunteer at Carers Trust. I had originally went to Carers Trust to ask for a confidence building course. But then Colin, a worker at Carers Trust said, why don’t you volunteer here? So from that day I’ve been volunteering every Friday for about an hour. The only reason that I go there for a hour is because I get tired. But at the start of this year, I’ve been going every Friday and Tuesday and every time that I’ve been going, I’ve been extending my time there by five minutes, to slowly build myself up to do two hours in a row.
Say hello to my sister, Arveena. She is a shy, mildly autistic, first Dan black belt in kickboxing. Even though she’s a first Dan black belt, she is still hesitant and shy.
And then she started to volunteer with Look Good Feel Better, a charity that looks after people that are going through cancer with makeovers. She has been doing that since 2016 and ever since, I’ve seen her confidence grow. (She still treats me like a younger brother, even though I’m older). Arveena also has a blog. Here’s the link. It’s about life as an autistic woman.
Slowly building myself up
Just this past week, I was able to answer the phone at Carers Trust. I was able to talk to a real person, deal with their request and wished them a good day I was able to do this, thanks to Shirley, the volunteers coordinator at Carers Trust. We firstly started off with the greeting. Then I started answering internal phone calls and learnt how to transfer phone calls. We practice this a number of times before I knew that I was ready.
The Headspace app, that I’ve been using for over a year, has a self esteem course. I had to do it a couple of times, but it’s definitely helped.
Wear hats and change toothpaste
As a young man with very little hair, I always like to leave the house with a hat on. Because I had radiotherapy on the whole head and on the pituitary gland, my hair hasn’t come back to what it was. I even went to a wedding with a hat on. Here’s a picture of me before the wedding.
With toothpaste, I’m always self conscious about the colour of my teeth. That’s why I started using Oral-B 3D White Toothpaste and ever since then, I’ve been smiling a lot more.
Being with people in the same boat
I can guarantee, that you can ask anybody from the Coventry Brain Tumour Support group, and you can ask them, what I was like during my first few meetings. And they would say a shy little boy. Over the next few meetings, my confidence grew slowly. Recently a member of the group, called Helen, has been commenting on how my speech and confidence has improved.
Recently, I’ve joined a Facebook group called “Brain Tumours with Humour” They are a group of people who laugh at the situation that we are in and it’s nice to have a laugh with people in the same boat as you. I do really think that laughing with others, helps with recovery. Of course there’s the Brain Tumour Support, the Brain Tumour charity, the Macmillan and the Shine Young cancer Facebook groups and pages.
I know that it can be hard to go out of your comfort zone and spread your wings, it was hard for me. But hopefully, through these tips, you should be able to get back your confidence.
So, that’s it. Once again, I just want to thank a few people. Firstly, I would like to thank my mum, dad, sister and my uncle, for being by my side, throughout everything. I would like to thank Louise from BTS for sharing this with the community. I would like to thank Kanika, Shirley and everyone at Carers Trust for giving me the confidence to sharing my story and I would like to thank Joe for motivating me to getting back on the horse. And I would like to thank everyone at the hospital, my family and friends and everyone who I’ve met on this journey.
Please feel free to leave a comment and don’t forget, if you buy something from amazon, through the blog, 100% of the money that I get goes to Brain Tumour Support
Next time, I’m going to talk about how I managed to walk over 10,000 steps a day.
Thanks and I will see you soon.